The Duvalier’s Era 1957 – 1986



  Franck Sylvain - WikipediaFranck Sylvain is elected President of Haiti, but is succeeded by a thirteen-member Executive Council of Government. Daniel Fignolé is elected President of Haiti, but is replaced by a Military Council of Government.

22 October 1957

François Duvalier | president of Haiti | BritannicaDr. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier is elected President of Haiti. The corrupt Duvalier dictatorship marks one of the saddest chapters in Haitian history with tens of thousands killed or exiled.


Duvalier began to attack his opponents violently, driving many of them into exile.


François Duvalier proclaims himself “President for Life.”


François Duvalier dies, only to be replaced by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude Duvalier. Making him the youngest president in the world until today. (2016)


The first Haitian “boat people” fleeing the country land in Florida.


Widespread protests against repression of the nation’s press take place.


Jean-Claude ('Baby Doc') Duvalier - obituary - Telegraph“Baby-Doc” Duvalier exploits international assistance and seeks to attract investment leading to the establishment of textile-based assembly industries. Attempts by workers and political parties to organize are quickly and regularly crushed.


Although foreign investments industrialized Port-au-Prince with assembly factories that made Haiti the world’s ninth largest assembler of products for US markets, the Haitian national debt grows to $366 million.


After the killing of four students, a year of sustained national protests against Jean-Claude Duvalier forces him to flee Haiti for France on a US jet.  General Henry Namphy steps into power and establishes a repressive military government.